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Career, Community, and Connection: Embracing Career Pivots and Cultivating Community as LGBTQIA+ Leaders


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Career, Community, and Connection: Embracing Career Pivots and Cultivating Community as LGBTQIA+ Leaders

PRIDE: Championing LGBTQIA+ Leaders & Allies

Nearly one in three US workers under 40 considered making a career change since the start of the pandemic but since LGBTQIA+ people are underrepresented in the workplace, especially in management, career pivots can be especially scary. We are joined by leaders from Morgan Stanley to discuss how the company is supporting pivots, returnships and growth while also cultivating a strong sense of community that supports its LGBTQIA+ workers all year long. Questions are welcome for our special guests!

Ashley Siegel (she/they)

Bridget Finkeldey

Ashley Siegel (she/they) is an impact driven inclusion expert and corporate activist fueled by their own lived experience as the proud, queer, grandchild of Holocaust survivors.
An intersectional diversity, equity, & inclusion champion, Ashley Siegel joined Morgan Stanley in 2023 leading DEI across the firm’s global technology businesses. In addition to their leadership role at the firm, Ashley dedicates their time and expertise to community organizing and social justice efforts, and proudly serves on the executive advisory board for Lesbians Who Tech.
Prior, Ashley spent 12 years making magic at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as leader of Disney’s global Outreach and Engagement function, sitting at the intersection of DEI, Talent Acquisition, and Corporate Social Responsibility. Ashley's team led the evolution of the DisneyTech brand with a focus on diversifying the workforce, creating opportunities for employee engagement, deepening Disney’s relationships with Historically Black Colleges & Universities through Disney on the Yard, and serving on the leadership of the CEO-appointed LGBTQIA+ Collective working to educate, advocate for, and influence the advancement of Disney’s initiatives and support of LGBTQIA+ cast members, employees, families, and guests. Additionally, Ashley proudly advised ERGs for women, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and Jewish communities.
Before shifting fully into DEI-focused work, Ashley spent nearly a decade as a technologist with Disney Streaming (previously MLB Advanced Media, BAMTECH Media,) where she led a team bicoastally and internationally that was responsible for the streaming operations for Hulu, the NFL, Twitter, WWE Network, PGA Tour Live, and March Madness, among many others. During her tenure, Ashley founded the D&I Leadership Council at Disney Streaming where she served as advisor for the creation of ERGs representing women, LGBTQIA+, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, AAPI, Disabilities, and Veteran communities.
Ashley began community organizing at 13 and continued to lead philanthropic efforts through and into adulthood. A proud product of public school, Ashley graduated from UMass Amherst with degrees in journalism with a sports concentration and religious studies. Family, (biological and chosen,) come first in Ashley’s life, followed by love of music, the New York Yankees & Jets, traveling (when it is safe to do so,) and reality television. Ashley and her babies, rescue dogs Zoey and Marvin, adore living in Jersey City, NJ despite being New Yorkers at heart.

Charles Ellis (he/him)

Bridget Finkeldey

Charles Ellis (he/him) is a creator, writer, and DEIB leader. He joined Morgan Stanley in January 2023 as the Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion Advisor for the U.S. Banks.

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Charles began his career at Condé Nast as an intern in the fashion closet of Glamour Magazine. After nearly 13 years and stints at GQ, W, WIRED, Opening Ceremony, Golf Digest, and many others, his trajectory has spanned across many industries and sectors including editorial, marketing, advertising sales, event production, and digital strategy. Most recently, he served as the D&I Lead for Condé Nast’s Commercial Revenue Division where he established partnerships with organizations like the NAACP, Gold House, Color of Change, ACLU, ColorComm, AdColor and The Asian American Foundation. Notably, he was also the founder and chair of Condé Nast's first employee networking group and the inaugural chair of their Global Diversity Council for Diversity & Inclusion.

Aside from his mission to create more spaces of belonging for people of color, Charles finds joy in the arts including music, painting, and cooking. He's also an avid Lego fan.

Charles is a graduate of Wayne State University with BA in Journalism and graduated with honors from the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. He also holds a Diversity & Inclusion certification from Cornell University. He lives in Long Island City, NY.

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